Avalanche Fatalities Low Given High Danger - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

Avalanche Fatalities Low, Given High Danger

Posted: Updated:
BOZEMAN -

Avalanche experts say on average there are about 40 avalanche fatalities in the United States every year. In Montana, we average about four avalanche fatalities per year.

Montana's only fatal avalanche so far this season happened on New Years Day in the Onion Basin in the Northern Gallatin Range.

A father was out with his son and son's friend snowmobiling when he got caught and buried.

Avalanche expert Doug Chabot said he's surprised there haven't been more fatalities since this season has had the highest avalanche danger conditions since 2009 when seven people died after being caught in slides.

"Everyone got early season snow then that snow sat there and got weak," said Chabot.

In the last ten years, Montana has had 35 avalanche fatalities. Nineteen of those happened in the Gallatin National Forest.

Chabot said it doesn't matter what type of recreating you are doing, the chances of getting caught in a slide all depends on if you are in avalanche terrain.

"Everyone is pretty much equally likely, it's more about managing the terrain," said Chabot.  "If you go into avalanche terrain, you will stand a chance of triggering a slide."

But, Chabot predicts the worst of avalanche season is behind us.

"We'll see the avalanche danger spike with snow storms as they come, but it will also go down pretty quickly," said Chabot. "I do expect to still see avalanches, which will be followed by the storms, but I do not expect to see a wide destruction."

Chabot wants to remind everyone to travel with someone in the backcountry and always have avalanche protection gear, an avalanche transceiver, a shovel and a probe.

Currently, avalanche danger is high in the mountains around Cooke City.

  • Most Popular

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Carlton Complex: 71% contained; 251,698 acres burned

    Carlton Complex: 71% contained; 251,698 acres burned

    Thursday, July 31 2014 2:22 PM EDT2014-07-31 18:22:03 GMT
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. - The Carlton Complex is now 71% contained and is 251,698 acres in size. Firefighters are continuing the hot, difficult work of “mopping up” and strengthening the fire line, especially in the areas south of Highway 20 towards the summit of Loop Loop.
    OKANOGAN COUNTY, Wash. - The Carlton Complex is now 71% contained and is 251,698 acres in size. Firefighters are continuing the hot, difficult work of “mopping up” and strengthening the fire line, especially in the areas south of Highway 20 towards the summit of Loop Loop.
  • Counterfeit One Dollar Bills in Butte

    Counterfeit One Dollar Bills in Butte

    Wednesday, July 30 2014 8:09 PM EDT2014-07-31 00:09:41 GMT
    Some people in Butte discover the money in their wallet is fake. Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, those are the faces you usually see on counterfeit money but George Washington? Now, that's rare.
    Some people in Butte discover the money in their wallet is fake. Andrew Jackson, Ulysses S. Grant, Benjamin Franklin, those are the faces you usually see on counterfeit money but George Washington? Now, that's rare.
  • Man Charged With Felonies After Four-Hour Standoff

    Man Charged With Felonies After Four-Hour Standoff

    Thursday, July 31 2014 3:32 PM EDT2014-07-31 19:32:31 GMT
    A Columbia Falls man is in custody for two counts of felony theft and burglary after a four-hour standoff Wednesday.
    A Columbia Falls man is in custody for two counts of felony theft and burglary after a four-hour standoff Wednesday.
  • Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Many Frustrated By Stalled Cobell Settlements

    Wednesday, July 16 2014 9:30 PM EDT2014-07-17 01:30:30 GMT
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
    In Congress Wednesday, the group in charge of doling out Cobell settlement claims says it's waiting on setting exact amounts and a judge's okay before making the rest of the payments.
  • Ancient Genome Sheds Light On Prehistoric Man

    Ancient Genome Sheds Light On Prehistoric Man

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:31 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:31:21 GMT
    The remains of a young boy buried in southern Montana more than 12,000 years ago is shedding light on the history of prehistoric man.
    The remains of a young boy buried in southern Montana more than 12,000 years ago is shedding light on the history of prehistoric man.
  • Jimmy Shane, Team Oberto Wins Columbia Cup

    Jimmy Shane, Team Oberto Wins Columbia Cup

    Jimmy Shane in the U-6 Oberto boat wins the 49th HAPO Columbia Cup.
    Jimmy Shane in the U-6 Oberto boat wins the 49th HAPO Columbia Cup.
  • Zoo Town Open Disc Golf Tourney Brings Top Competition to Montana

    Zoo Town Open Disc Golf Tourney Brings Top Competition to Montana

    Tuesday, July 29 2014 12:23 AM EDT2014-07-29 04:23:46 GMT
    ABC/FOX Montana Sports Intern Cole Havens tells us about Disc Golf or 'Folf' as many people know it, is a sport that's becoming more and more popular in the Treasure State.
    ABC/FOX Montana Sports Intern Cole Havens tells us about Disc Golf or 'Folf' as many people know it, is a sport that's becoming more and more popular in the Treasure State.
  • ABC Montana Sports, 7-30-14

    ABC Montana Sports, 7-30-14

    Thursday, July 31 2014 12:15 AM EDT2014-07-31 04:15:24 GMT
    The Missoula Osprey host Great Falls as Justin Williams tried to set a new record for consecutive games with a hit. Highlights from the State A baseball tournament in Lewistown and the Bozeman soccer squad starts practicing.
    The Missoula Osprey host Great Falls as Justin Williams tried to set a new record for consecutive games with a hit. Highlights from the State A baseball tournament in Lewistown and the Bozeman soccer squad starts practicing.
Powered by WorldNow

Features

  • More Features
  • Powered by WorldNow
    All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 WorldNow and Cowles Montana Media. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.